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Road construction impacts Clinton's Little Italy Festival

This year, there were a few behind the scenes hiccups in the set-up for the Little Italy Festival.

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 6:59 PM

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - For more than 50 years, Labor Day Weekend has been Clinton, Indiana’s "time to shine." That's with the Little Italy Festival. The festival celebrates the Italian immigrants who founded the community.

Of course, the amusement rides are a huge draw to the festival for kids and adults alike. But this year, there was a bit of a hiccup in the set-up.

News 10 spoke with Lynell McCracken, the festival’s president. She says the rides are brought in by a company from Ohio. As the drivers were heading to the festival, they were met with the construction at the Lyford "Y". The drivers were unable to get through with the large equipment. That meant a "Plan B" had to be thought of quickly!

McCracken shares, "They were kind of tight bringing some of them through there, so they did have to take some detours and end up coming down 163 through town. Which, coming into town with some of that stuff is also pretty difficult because of the trees and things like that."

As it turns out, the amusement rides weren’t the part of the festival that had to be re-worked due to road construction. McCracken says the location where the fireworks would be shot off had to be moved.

She says, "With all of the new road construction in Clinton, the extra parking lot I guess you would call it that we have set them off in the past, has kind of got stuff sitting on it like extra gravel and where they've torn up the streets, all of that extra stuff."

McCracken says not to worry though, the festival is securing a different location for the fireworks display.

As for resident Bonnie Sabalick, she has 35 years of great memories with the Little Italy Festival. She says the town is always packed for the festival, so the construction’s timing isn’t ideal.

Sabalick shares, "I can assume that when the action starts it's going to be a little bit of an issue. I hope that it doesn't cause any decrease in folks coming out to the festival. Again, this is Clinton’s time to shine."

City Police Chief Billy Maclaren is already thinking ahead to traffic control.

He says, "Use caution give yourself plenty of time with the construction going on at the Lyford Y/T area, giving yourself time to get through the traffic signals there, and just be careful."

A reminder to motorists, at the Lyford intersection, traffic is not allowed to or from Rockville. Parke County attendees can take US Highway 36, to State Road 63 into Clinton

The Little Italy Festival starts Friday night with a parade and ends Monday night with fireworks.

For more information, click here.

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